Lake Stevens Police Marine law enforcement officers will participate in the Operation Dry Water and will be out in force June 24-26 looking for boaters whose Blood Alcohol Content exceeds the state limit of 0.08. Operation Dry Water will include increased marine patrols on the water as well as boater education. Impaired boaters can expect penalties to be severe. In Washington, they include fines and jail time.
“We intend to stop intoxicated boaters and to educate as many boaters as possible about the hazards of Boating Under the Influence (BUI),” says Officer Jim Barnes from the Lake Stevens Police Department.
A boat operator or passenger with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit runs a significantly increased risk of being involved in a boating accident. When impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more likely and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard.
BUI is a primary contributing factor in nearly one in five boating fatalities nationwide, and Washington has gotten tougher in recent years in enforcing laws against this high-risk behavior. Boaters found operating a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher will find their voyage terminated and may have their vessel impounded.
Operation Dry Water (ODW), a multi-agency, education and enforcement initiative launched by NASBLA in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, puts thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide the last weekend in June to give BUI enforcement high visibility during the peak boating season.
“There will be arrests this weekend, and some boaters will face the consequences of boating under the influence,” says Officer Barnes. “We want recreational boaters to enjoy themselves, but there will be zero tolerance for BUI.”
Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the Lake Stevens Police Department, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other partner agencies. For more information, visit www.operationdrywater.org.